SwapDV FAQ (Kid Plasmid & Jotter)
Q. What is SwapDV?
A. SwapDV allows you to manage your own personal digital video (DV) library based on DV downloaded from ReplayTVs and other SwapDV instances running on your local area network and the Internet.
Q. So does this mean you condone illegal sharing of copyrighted material?
A. No. There are multiple sources of legally sharable content, such as personal videos and public and government television. SwapDV is intended for use with this content only.
Q. How can I transfer my personal video to SwapDV.
A. Connect your video source (like your VCR or digital camera) to the Replay TV input 1 or 2 and select manual record. The content is then properly digitized for viewing on other peoples replay TVs.
Q. Can SwapDV talk to my Replay TV?
A. Yes. You can use SwapDV to (1) connect to your ReplayTV and browse the contents; and (2) download mpegs. Once the digital video is imported into SwapDV you can watch it from your ReplayTV or PC. You can also use SwapDV to save the ReplayTV's guide data.
Q. How do I import personal digital video from my ReplayTV (or another SwapDV)?
A. First, create a "channel" where you will store imported content by using "Content Guide>Add Channel." Next enter the address of your ReplayTV or SwapDV using "File>Remote Replays." A Library guide window should open showing you a listing of "shows." Finally, right click on the desired content and select "Import Show to my SwapDV Library."
Q. Can I watch personal digital video stored on SwapDV from my ReplayTV?
A. Yes. SwapDV emulates a ReplayTV box on your local network and any content stored in SwapDV's guide is available for remote viewing.
Q. How do I make the SwapDV show up on my ReplayTV?
A. Go to the Replay Guide section and look in the top right corner of the screen. Pressing "UP" from the Guide Tabs will select the field which can then be used to switch between all the ReplayTVs and SwapDVs on your local area network.
Q. What files are needed to import new digital video into SwapDV?
A. To import shows, SwapDV needs the digital video (.mpg), the index (.ndx), and a guide snapshot (.rgd) that contains the content you are importing. You can use the import command to copy these three files and import them directly into SwapDV.
Q. Can I edit the show fields, channels, descriptions?
A. No, but this may be implemented in the future.
Q. Can my ReplayTV play digital video from my friend's SwapDV server directly?
A. Unless your "friend" is on the same high-bandwidth network segment this is not recommended. Trying to play video on a ReplayTV over a slow network connection results in choppy playback and system hangs. Additionally, your ReplayTV will not "see" the remote SwapDV server because UPnP does not usually pass through the Internet. We recommend you import the personal digital video into your local SwapDV server first.
Q. Can SwapDVs swap?
A. Yes. The SwapDV Network vision is a collection of servers on the Internet acting as front-ends for ReplayTVs. These servers provide playback of stored personal digital video (DV) to your LAN's ReplayTVs and also swap DV with each other. Initially swapping is manual using the import command but eventually a form of P2P technology will be supported.
Q. Does SwapDV run on Unix, Linux, Suse, or Multics?
A. Not yet. The basic program is Java but the graphical UI is based on Windows so this should not be too difficult and depends on user demand.
Q. Can I setup SwapDV so it automatically runs when my computer reboots?
A. Download Tweakui which has the ability to login a user on reboot and then put SwapDV in the startup program group. Also enable "restart server on startup" from the SwapDV options menu. People also report Minimize Magic 2.4 is useful.
Q. What does "Save as [X]" mean?
A. The "save show as library swap file" command means save the three parts required to swap the personal digital video with someone else. So saving the content that way will save "101nnnnn.mpg" "101nnnnn.ndx" and "101nnnnn.rgd". If you give these to someone else, they can add the video to their swapDV library by right clicking on a channel and selecting "import". The "Save as Replay" saves the raw Mpeg without alteration. The "Save as PC" adjusts the mpeg header to make it more mpeg compliant. Note, normally just use the Import command.
Q. Can I automatically backup (all) content from my ReplayTV?
A. This is an often asked for feature that may be available in the future if it doesn't violate copyright law.
Q. Can I watch (streaming) video on my PC?
A. In order to watch ReplayTV MPEG video you need an MPEG-2 player and decoder. The one we've found that works is from http://www.elecard.com.
Currently you cannot play streaming video on your PC through SwapDV.
Q. What about really big disks?
A. Allowing multiple "root directories" or the ability to run multiple servers under different names may be provided in the future
If anyone has any additional questions or insights that they think would be good in the FAQ please drop me some email (email@example.com)